HP has won approval from government for a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) equity equivalent through an initiative known as the HP Business Institute (HPBI).
The HPBI forms a significant part of HP’s overall BBBEE programmes which, together, now exceed R150-million.
HPBI is an enterprise and skills development programme aimed at existing employees and graduates in the small to medium enterprise (SME) ICT sector, focusing on developing scarce and critical skills in high growth areas of the IT Industry.
These skills will be delivered through and into existing BBBEE SME IT companies, helping them to break through into the more sustainable high-end of the IT industry. The programme is designed to train 1 800 students over the next six-and-a-half years.
In conjunction with selected partners, HP will identify individuals who will be placed in short-term skills programmes and one-year learnerships. This will equip them with necessary ICT skills, creating employment opportunities and helping to close the skills gap in the ICT sector. The first intake of graduates is scheduled for February 2008.
The announcement was made at the sixth meeting of the Presidential International Advisory Council (PIAC) on ICT.
“The HPBI initiative is aligned with the Department of Communication’s national e-Skills strategy, which aims to address the ICT skills requirements for the sector,” says Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, minister of communications.
“HP has always embraced the principles of BBBEE and is committed to transformation in South Africa," says Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, CEO of HP South Africa. "Through HPBI, the company will continue to contribute to our country’s economic growth by creating new jobs and opportunities for SMMEs and ICT professionals, as well as addressing the skills shortages in critical areas."